Last week American Express Business Travel gave me a call because their client wanted to know the positive ROI / Return on Investment they would get by having their travelers stay in corporate housing vs staying in a hotel.
Great question! Of course there is never a simple answer. A year ago I served on the US Advisory Council for ERC / Employee Relocation Council the association for workforce mobility and a current study was presented that stated employees who had bad corporate relocations we 50% more likely to get divorced. As we know, corporate housing is an essential element of a successful corporate relocation. When a company invests in transferring a valuable and talented employee from one market to another the transferee must get to the new city as quickly as possible and become productive. This is accomplished through immediately having them comfortable in their new local living arrangements and corporate housing provides this. So the question is how do you calculate ROI on this?
So if you would rather look at the pennies – let’s choose Downtown Denver as an option.
According to the 2013 Corporate Housing Annual Report
1 Bedroom Corporate Housing property = $99.78 per night
2 Bedroom Corporate Housing property = $117.52 per night
3 Bedroom Corporate Housing property = $135.40 per night
I just ran a Google Search for Downtown Denver Hotels and this is what I got:
$113 per night = 3 Star, Embassy Suites
$160 per night = 4 Star, Oxford Hotel
$325 pre night = 5 Star, Four Seasons
In the corporate housing industry we spend a lot of time talking about the “soft” benefits of staying in a corporate housing property but the reality is the “hard cash” benefits are even greater. Next time you need a place to stay call you local corporate housing provider to better understand the huge ROI of staying in a corporate housing rental.
Our newest location officially opened November 21, 2013: AvenueWest Atlanta located at 5905 Atlanta Highway, Suite 101. AvenueWest Atlanta connects private landlords with business travelers, or relocated families in need of full service corporate housing.
AvenueWest Global Franchise has been tapping into the emerging trend of business executives who are finding both financial freedom and life balance through franchise ownership. Jennifer Haigler, the owner of the AvenueWest Atlanta office, along with her husband Rory, came to the realization she needed the flexibility, provided by AvenueWest, when one day she realized she didn’t even know what her young son was wearing to school that day. Jennifer, a veteran of the corporate relocation industry and a licensed Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) says: “It was a profound moment in time for me as I decided I needed to do something to bring some work/life balance back to my existence.”
AvenueWest’s approach to Managed Corporate Housing is an exciting opportunity that taps into both Jennifer’s previous relocation and corporate housing experience and Rory’s real estate experience as they look to build a long term sustainable business. The Haigler’s say Atlanta is the perfect place to set up a corporate housing shop.
Jennifer continues: “Many relocated families and professionals as well as business executives would prefer to stay in our AvenueWest properties since they provide all the amenities of home. Our properties are in real residential settings instead of the more transient environments found when staying in hotels. The cost to stay in an AvenueWest property is also typically less expensive per night than staying in a hotel.”
Rory adds: Atlanta’s real estate market is currently booming, but there is a shortage of homes available for sale in the metro area.
“There seems to be demand from every corner. As the economy continues to strengthen, more and more people are relocating to Georgia and Atlanta in particular. As of August, Atlanta’s employment grew by 57,100 (a 2.4% increase)! Atlanta’s diverse economy generates a constant flow of people moving into the area to find a new home, and short term housing presents the best solution during that time of transition for relocating families, individuals, and executives alike, especially since the homes on the market are being snagged so quickly,” stated Rory.
“Individual homeowners and investors alike who want to offer their furnished homes or condos as corporate rental properties will have the opportunity to make additional revenue in today’s economy. By partnering with us and using our proven Managed Corporate Housing system, we can both benefit from the growing need for temporary housing solutions in the area. It’s exciting to be able to help owners develop their investment properties and turn them into major profit centers,” added Jennifer.
Kimberly Smith, the CEO of AvenueWest Global Franchise, says that opening an office in Atlanta is the latest step in an aggressive expansion plan that the company initiated in July of this year.
“AvenueWest’s privately owned properties offer more choices to today’s executives or relocated individuals who want a fully furnished property with all the comforts of home, high-end furnishings, and many times, amazing amenities over standard corporate housing rentals or extended stays,” says Smith. “With the Haigler’s knowledge of the area and the local real estate, relocation, and corporate housing industries, AvenueWest Atlanta is uniquely positioned to offer the kind of rental properties required by discerning executives and individuals and families who are being relocated to the area. It also offers the opportunity for private landlords to earn greatly increased rental income on their properties.”
If you or someone you know is being relocated to the Atlanta area, you can contact AvenueWest Atlanta directly by calling 678-901-9171 or by emailing Jennifer at JHaigler@AvenueWest.com. If you are a property owner or investor who wishes to put their fully furnished home, condo, town home, or loft into AvenueWest Atlanta’s inventory, contact Rory at RHaigler@AvenueWest.com.
About AvenueWest Global Franchise
Established in 2010, AvenueWest Global Franchise grew from the desire to expand the business opportunity and corporate housing excellence achieved through the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing program that was founded in 1999.
According to a new Gallup Poll, Fort Collins/Loveland, CO ranked 5th in the top ten most healthiest and happiest areas in the United States with a score of 71.6 on the Well-Being index!
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score factors in six different categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. The scores are based off of a total of 100. The number 1 ranked city in America for 2013 is Lincoln, NE with an overall score of 72.8.
According to a recent article on Coloradoan.com, Gallup-Healthways had this to say about the recent top 5 winners: “High well-being cities such as Lincoln, Boulder, Burlington-South Burlington, Provo-Orem, and Fort Collins-Loveland provide models to emulate and goals for others to aspire to, including the many U.S. metro areas that lag far behind in health and well-being.”
This is not the only recognition that Fort Collins has received:
- Ranked 7th from Forbes Magazine as one of the “Best Places for Business and Careers” in August;
- In August, the Kaufman Foundation ranked Fort Collins 2nd as one of the “Top 10 Metro Areas for High-Tech Start-up Density;”
- Fort Collins has received the Platinum award from Bicycle Friendly America;
- Awarded the 2013 J. Robert Havlick and Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Innovation in Local Government;
- In 2012, Livability.com ranked Fort Collins number 1 for “Top 10 Downtowns;”
- And so many more!
If you are planning on relocating to one of America’s healthiest and happiest cities, AvenueWest Northern Colorado would be happy to find you the perfect fully furnished rental and can even help you find a more permanent residence in the area as well. 🙂
AvenueWest Northern Colorado, a franchise of Denver-based AvenueWest Global Franchise, opened its doors on November 1, 2013 and is owned and managed by Deb Salek.
AvenueWest Northern Colorado connects private landlords with business travelers in need of full service corporate housing.
AvenueWest Global Franchise has been tapping into the emerging trend of departing business executives who are finding both financial freedom and life balance through franchise ownership. Deb Salek was a former senior level analyst with Qwest Communications and now owns her own AvenueWest franchise. Deb’s exit from corporate America is a developing national trend. Her first step was to decide to leave her office job. She built a successful residential real estate business as a broker associate with RE/MAX, which provided the flexibility she needed with her two young children. Then Deb and her husband, Todd, chose to relocate to Fort Collins, CO, a city they found as the best compliment to their quality of life vision. When looking to target the relocation market more specifically, Deb found AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing to be an exciting opportunity which taps into both her corporate and real estate experience as she looks to build a long term sustainable business.
“Fort Collins offers this amazing quality of life and energy that is fueling growth and causing a positive relocation trend for the city. With a diverse blend of corporations, Colorado State University, state of the art hospitals, government entities and a burgeoning craft beer industry, Fort Collins economy continues to strengthen. Fort Collins is also in the midst of a hot housing market with property inventory at a premium so it may take people several months to find a new home, and short-term housing presents the best solution during that transition.”
Salek continues: “The people that stay in our AvenueWest properties prefer to have the amenities of home and appreciate that it is a less transient environment than what they would find in a hotel. The cost to stay in an AvenueWest property is also typically less expensive per night than staying in a hotel. There seems to be a demand from every corner: corporations, visiting professors, medical personnel, the oil and gas industry, tourists, and so forth. I see the real opportunity as being with the individual homeowners who want to offer their furnished homes as corporate rental properties. They will have the ability to work with us to capitalize on and profit from the growing need for temporary housing solutions in the area. It’s exciting to be able to help owners develop their investment properties.”
Kimberly Smith, the CEO of AvenueWest Global Franchise, says that opening an office in Fort Collins has been on her wish list since the day she started her managed corporate housing business in the LODO area of Denver some 14 years ago and a priority since launching AvenueWest Global Franchise in 2010. “An executive who wants a furnished property with all the creature comforts of home and high-end furnishings will have a strong preference for AvenueWest’s corporate rental properties over a transient hotel setting or other generic apartment rentals. With Deb’s knowledge of the area and industry, AvenueWest Northern Colorado now offers the kinds of rental properties required by discerning executives. It also offers the opportunity for private landlords to earn greatly increased rental income on their properties.”
To offer your property for rent through AvenueWest Northern Colorado, or to find a property during your temporary stay in the area, contact Deb Salek at 970-797-3099 or via email at: DSalek@AvenueWest.com. AvenueWest Northern Colorado connects private landlords with those in need of corporate housing. Corporate housing is defined as fully furnished rental apartments, homes or condominiums offered for rent on a short-term basis, usually for one month or more.
About AvenueWest Global Franchise
Established in 2010, AvenueWest Global Franchise grew from the desire to expand the business opportunity and corporate housing excellence achieved through the AvenueWest Corporate Housing Managed Corporate Housing program that was founded in 1999.
Currently AvenueWest Global Franchise has offices in Boston MA, Colorado Springs CO, Dallas TX, Denver CO, Fort Collins CO, Phoenix AZ and San Francisco CA, and has recently embarked on an aggressive expansion plan with expectations to open an office before year’s end in Atlanta GA.
Whether you are planning to take a trip for business or pleasure, these ten applications are sure to make your life easier.
Search for everything travel related (flights, rental cars, hotels, etc.) all in one place! This application is available for the iPhone, Android, Windows, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
- Lonely Planet Travel Guides.
Download this free app to have access to hundreds of Guide Books right at your fingertips. You can download the app from the Apple Store and can also download ebooks as well.
- UNESCO World Heritage App.
This app is $2.99 and available from the Apple Store for iPhone and iPad. The cost is worthwhile since you get access to location maps for all sites; over 650 photos; the ability to search by country, classification, or name; create your favorites and plot them onto Google Maps; links back to the UNESCO site for more information.
Another travel guide app that acts as your personal, mobile tour guide around most world cities. You can download this app on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Create a unique travel itinerary with the sites that you want to see. mTrip has a nice offline map feature that allows you to view maps and navigate around the city when you don’t have an internet connection. You can even send your friends and family members virtual postcards via email or Facebook.
This app is available for the iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android phones and tablets and provides you with travel guides, reviews from other users, and you can even download offline city guides which you do not need an internet connection for and they won’t charge your phone for roaming.
Is a free app that allows you to view and book hotels worldwide, access your reservations even when you are offline, and track and redeem points. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows.
A new way to search for flights and hotels is by using the cute app Hipmunk (which appropriately features a chipmunk as it’s mascot). The search results are easy to see and easy to book. You can filter the flight searchs by “agony” which will show you flights by the least amount of fly time, layovers, and price. The hotel search results shows at a glance if the hotel provides parking, wifi, fees, etc.
This is another free app that allows you to search for flights. It is available for iPod, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. You can filter it by showing the cheapest days to fly (if your dates are flexible), it also shows you the cheapest times to fly. Filter searches by take off/landing times, prices, and airlines. It is available in over 28 languages and 68 currencies too!
The name says it all – use this free app to keep yourself organized and on track when you are getting ready to pack for your next upcoming trip. Features include: unlimited list building and you can reuse past lists; a catalog of over 300 items to choose from; add any item to any category; you can enter quantities and notes for each item; and email the list to anyone when you are done, etc. Available for Apple and Android.
- JetLag Genie.
The perfect companion for a long trip oversees to help you beat jetlag. Available for iPhone or iPod touch, this app prepares you for your upcoming trip by allowing you to create customized daily plans before, during, and after you arrive at your final destination. Input your normal sleep patterns and flight information to get customized results. There is a melatonin guide too.
Planning any vacation or business trip can be a headache but with these top travel applications at your fingertips, your next trip is just a click away. If you are traveling with in the United States and prefer to stay in a fully furnished residential property rather than a hotel, then check out AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing now in Boston, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Fort Collins, Phoenix, and San Francisco.
There are so many fun things to do in the valley of the sun and here are some going on this weekend around the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area.
FREE 21+ Pool Parties! The Talking Stick Resort is hosing one from 11am-6pm this Saturday and Sunday – ages 21 and up. They are located at 9800 E. Indian Bend Road, 480-850-4350. There is also one at El Santo Cantina from 11am-sunset on Saturday and Sunday. They are located at 7301 E. Butherus Drive, Scottsdale, 480-584-3801.
- Farmers Markets around Phoenix: Phoenix Public Market, 721 N. Central Ave, 8am-noon this Saturday. Ahwatukee Farmers’ Market, 4700 East Warner Road, Phoenix, Az 85044, open Sunday from 8am-11am. Roadrunner Farmers’ Market, 3502 E. Cactus Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032, open Saturday from 7am-11am.
- 6th Annual Tukee Fest: “Rockin in the Park.” 6pm-10pm, Saturday, September 28th, Ahwatukee Park 4700 East Warner Road, Phoenix, AZ 85044. Enjoy live music, sports games, live motocross jumps and tricks, food and drinks available for purchase from Nello’s Pizza, Macayo’s and Tom’s BBQ. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.
- Vampire Weekend Concert: 8pm Friday, September 27th. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix. Tickets are $29.50-$39.50.
Bret Michaels’ Concert: 8pm Saturday, September 28th. Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, 5040 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Gila River Reservation. Tickets are $54-$114
- Keith Urban Concert: 7pm Sunday, September 29th. Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Ave, Phoenix. Tickets are $29.25-$59.
- Jimmy Eat World Concert: 8pm Sunday, September 29th. Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave, Tempe. Tickets are $30 at the door and $27 in advance.
- Steve-O performs live at the Tempe Improv all this weekend. Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm and 10pm and on Sunday at 7pm. 930 E. University Drive. Tickets are $20-$35. Age 18 and up. Two drink minimum required.
2nd Annual Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival. Saturday, September 28th from 5pm-11pm at the A.R.T.S. Market, 408 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. $10 in advance, $15 at the gate.
- The Taste at Tempe Marketplace: Help raise money for the local Boys and Girls clubs while enjoying samples from 10 different local restaurants. 5pm-8pm, Sunday, September 29th. 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. Tickets are $40 for one or $70 for two.
- Symphony Idol: “American Idol” alums join the Phoenix Symphony this weekend only to showcase pop inspired tunes. Friday, September 27th at 7:30 pm or Sunday, September 29th at 2pm. Tickets are $18-$83. Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second Street, Phoenix.
These fun-filled fall events are not only great for Phoenix Locals, but for the business traveler as well! There is bound to be one (or more) events going on this weekend that will please your whole crowd.
If ever there is a need for corporate housing or short-term fully furnished housing or full property management in the Phoenix metro area, AvenueWest Phoenix can help you out. Contact us today – we would love to find you the perfect housing solution!
As covered in last week’s blog post “The Rising Costs of Business Travel and Managing Your Company’s Expenses,” the cost of business travel is increasing. Despite the rise in gas prices which ultimately affects the costs of flights, rental car rates, and other transportation services, there are still ways that you can save your company some serious dough when it comes time to book your next business trip.
The eBook 10 Ways to Cut Corporate Travel Costs has lots of great solutions to save your company money when it comes to travel.
- Create a company wide travel policy. This policy should be in writing and distributed to everyone. It needs to include booking guidelines, expense allowances, and travel budgets.
Hire a Travel Coordinator. Having one person in charge of booking all of your companies travel arrangements will allow them to find the best rates on flights, hotels, and cars since this is their primary responsibility. They will also know more ways to save money. Small business? No problem. Simply assign this task to one of your existing employees.
For longer stays, try an extended stay hotel or corporate housing. Providing your employees accommodations with kitchens will ultimately save money on meals.
Book mid-priced hotel rooms. Many 3 star hotels have been revamped to accommodate business travelers for a fraction of the cost. Many include free wi-fi, breakfast, and meeting rooms. Be sure your employees know that the company will not cover room service or mini-bar charges.
- Negotiation is always an option. Most hotels do offer corporate rates. Be sure to tell them that you are booking travel for your company. If they don’t offer a discount right off the bat, then you can always tell them you have narrowed it down between their hotel and another hotel close by and see if they offer you a discount then.
Encourage employees to stay with friends or family. If your employee has friends or family in the area and they choose to stay there (which will ultimately save you tons on accommodations) then give them an allowance for a thank you gift or dinner compliments of the company.
Book all travel arrangements in advance. The cost of airlines, hotels, and rental cars increase the closer it gets to your trip. In order to save money, be sure to book well in advance if possible.
- Save money on rental cars by booking with smaller brands. Many times, there are other rental car companies that can offer lower rates. They might not be at the airport but typically do offer complimentary shuttle service.
- Purchase coach class for domestic travel. The plane will get your employees to their destinations regardless of what type of seat they have so only splurge on business class if it’s an international flight.
Hire a Shuttle or Bus for larger group travel. Many offer free wi-fi, video, parking, and refreshments and will allow you to take the whole company for much cheaper than flying!
Hopefully these ten tips will help your company save money the next time you have to book travel arrangements for yourself and/or employees.
The cost of business travel has increased due to the rising prices of hotels, transportation, etc. According to the Business Travel News’ 2013 Corporate Travel Index, the average cost for U.S. corporate travelers is $292 per person per day!
An article in The New York Times “Trapped in the Middle Seat” by Jad Mouawad published last May explores the rising costs of travel for both domestic and international trips; the importance of creating and managing company travel policies; and adapt to new travel mobile technologies to aid in finding the best prices. The article also promotes business travel for greater profitability and productivity: “…every dollar invested in business travel has historically brought in $20 in extra profits to American businesses.” So, how can today’s businesses still receive all the benefits of business travel but with lower costs?
One way is to have your employees stay in 3-star hotels instead of 4. Rock Blanco, the President of Travel G.P.A. reports that “a midsize company with an annual travel budget of $5 million, including $1.1 million on hotels, could save $150,000 a year if just 5% of its hotel bookings were downgraded by one notch.” Another way is to book your travel earlier to get better rates on flights, hotels, and car rentals.
There are lots of great online resources for booking smarter these days too. Sites like Hotels.com, Travelocity, Kayak, Expedia, etc. allow you to search and compare tons of different hotel rates, flights, rental cars and more. There are tons of great applications available now too that will allow your employees to track all of their trip information (TripIt), stay up to date on flight information (GateGuru), find local restaurants (UrbanSpoon and GrubHub), and so much more!
So, despite the rising prices of travel, there are many ways to be smarter and manage your company’s travel spending. Be sure there is an active company travel policy
covering employees expense reports, what the company covers, travel budgets, etc. so that everyone is in the loop. If your employees are responsible for booking their own travel, be sure to approve all costs before they confirm. Business travel is a great way to expand your company’s reach, network with others, and expand perspectives so don’t let the increasing prices diminish your company’s travel plans.
If you are a frequent business traveler, then these 5 apps are a must have to make your trip go as smooth as possible!
Points.com – this ingenious site allows you to combine all of your rewards points in one place! You can redeem them for travel, exchange points with other travelers, and even buy more mileage points. Consolidate all of your mileage rewards in one place and reap the benefits.
Expensify – this free app will allow you to import all of your expenses from your bank account or credit card and will create a PDF report. You can also scan receipts directly into the app for cash purchases. There is also a mileage log to keep you organized.
CardMunch – do you consistently loose business cards? Well fret no more! The CardMunch app allows you to take a picture of the business card and it will automatically create a contact for you in your phone with all of their information. The app also pulls in their LinkedIn profile information since this app was recently acquired by them.
XE Currency – for you frequent International business travelers, this app is the perfect tool to see real-time currency rates and conversions! There are more that 180 currencies and best of all, this app is FREE!
Wi-Fi Finder – working while traveling usually requires an internet connection. Wi-Fi Finder makes it easy to locate free and paid wireless networks near you anytime! You can also download an offline database to help you find networks when you are offline. It is available for iOS and Google Play.
There are so many great resources out there to aid the frequent business traveler along their journey. Hopefully, these tools will help your business even more – especially while on the go!
Basically, a scammer will hack into your social media accounts or email accounts and target the victims family and friends for money by pretending to be the person associated with the account. They might say they have an injury, got their wallet stolen, or even that they were arrested just to get someone to send them the money. Many times, the stories they fabricate are very believable. Shelley Berhnardt, director of consumer protection at Western Union, cautions us to “…verify the emergency and resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is…emergency scams play off of peoples’ emotions and strong desire to help friends and family in need.”
Of course, you should never send money to anyone without first verifying that the information is correct. Check with other family members and friends to see if they have been contacted, even if the “victim” says to keep it a secret.
For more information, you can also visit Western Union’s Consumer Protection Center.